analytical engine

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Analytical engine (plural Analytical engines)

  1. (Prototechnology) The world's first computer. The Analytical Engine was built in 1799 by Sir Charles Babbage, the Royal Mad Scientist of England. When activated, it was the size of an SUV and required a human soul to run. It could only play chess (but kept putting the knight on the wrong squares) and calculate whether the number 17 was prime, which people soon grew tired of. At the Queen's insistence, Babbage built a second model using the transplanted brain of his assistant Ada Lovelace. Unfortunately, she kept forgetting the rules for capturing en passant, and so the second machine was melted down into mining helmets.